A collection of unique perspectives on democratic socialism.
Aronoff (co-author: A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal, 2019), Dreier (Politics/Occidental Coll.; The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame, 2012, etc.) and Kazin (History/Georgetown Univ.; War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914-1918, 2017, etc.) deliver a chorus of intellectual voices who describe their vision for democratic socialism systems in the U.S. as well as assessments of inevitable roadblocks. The editors’ introductory essays offer a crash course in the history of the socialist movement, particularly its incremental resurgence from the federal programs of the 1930s through the social activist movements of the 21st century. As they warn, the mechanics of socialism in other countries offer lessons but not necessarily blueprints. They also address how the “hidden rules of race and racism” must first be overcome before any kind of economic justice can be realized. Each piece is thoughtful and regimented and includes a usable plan of action. Economist Darrick Hamilton hypothesizes a three-part playbook of policies to remediate our unjust financial system while historian Thomas Sugrue proposes a restructuring of the housing and transit markets to create more livable urban and rural spaces. Naomi Klein discusses how enacting the Green New Deal would prioritize and confront the issue of climate change head-on. Social justice advocate Dorothy Roberts addresses the comprehensive impact of universal health care, and journalist Michelle Chen examines the advantages of open borders. The contributors also survey education, sports, election systems, reproductive justice, and the arts. Sensible and convincing, the book takes on the country’s current “troubled plutocracy” and proposes ways “to build a kinder, more humane, and altogether freer society.” Even for those not inclined to agree with its core objective, the book challenges and motivates readers to act and appeal for “daunting but not impossible” changes.
A book of inspired opinion certain to provoke spirited political debate and proactive discussions.